Wednesday, September 26, 2007


So, the Bulldozer had no meltdowns today.  None.  There was no crying at all.  I realize this may be a temporary reprieve, but it was a relief, as I am apparently catching the cold M had last week and E had today.

Aide L (our sub for Aide S last year) is now our sub for Aide T until she comes back.  I'd forgotten how nosy she is!  Eesh.  Fortunately, Aide S just kept working with kids, and Aide J answered as briefly and non-specifically as possible.  Good for her.

At least we have someone consistent, though the inevitable comparisons will be forthcoming: Oh, the Bulldozer didn't do that when I subbed in his class last year!  Wow, is Girl J more stubborn this year than last year?  My goodness, M is still having bathroom issues?  They seem worse than last year.

Anyhow, the Bulldozer had no meltdowns, and even participated during the Let's Learn the Rules Second Step lesson.  As in, if someone is talking, you are silent.  You raise your hand to ask a question.  You listen to others.

I made "turn" cards I saw at a Barbara Bloomfield workshop a while back.  Every kid got three.  If you answered a question, you gave one up.  Once yours were gone, you didn't get to answer a question until everybody else's were gone.  If you were using your turn card, everyone else was to be silent.

It actually worked pretty well.

Also, Superhero knows the word (and PECs picture) for frustrated. Cool.

You know the saying about having someone on a short leash?  This group of kids needs a four-inch choke chain.  I have utter faith that we will get there eventually -- the Second Step lesson proved it -- but it's going to there.

But I must say, it was nice to actually get a chance to teach today.  Since E was out sick, Aide J was available to help other kids more than normal, so I was able to pull M during small group working time and work one on one with her.

Tomorrow is principal's recess, which all but three of the kids earned.  I suspect the three who didn't won't be very happy -- but Girl J (I need a nickname for her, by the way) connects actions and consequences well enough that the reminder should do her well in the future.

Incidentally, the five item schedule was way too much for Bulldozer.  Right now, only the bottom spot has an activity in it, and then his reinforcer (i.e., an if-then board -- if you do your journal, then you can draw).


Amie said...

what is principals recess?

SpooWriter said...

A special extra recess our principal supervises where kids who have been good "school citizens" get to play an extra 20 minutes. She also usually plays music for the kids.

Plus, she tells us when it is, and we get to go. Our old principal thought we had cooties, and always "forgot" to let us know when it we didn't get to go till last year.

Amie said...

and the kids that don't earn it just watch or stay inside?

Amie said...

oh, did you mean "you" as in your class and not as in the teachers? (when I first read it I thought you meant you as in the teachers and I was picturing the kids that didn't earn it just sitting in the classroom with the aids and I thought that might bring more trouble than it's worth! :)
anyway, that's a cool idea.

SpooWriter said...

Yeah. One of the upper grade teachers usually volunteers to supervise the kids who don't earn it. I was a little more easygoing last year with the kids...most kids miraculously earned it at the last minute, but with my give an inch take five miles kiddos this year, that won't work.

I'd guess in the general education classes something like 90% of kids earn it. Each class has their own specific criteria -- some base it on their classroom behavior management system (like the teacher I...borrowed...mine from) while others mix behavior and things like returning homework.

For my kiddos, they have a chart (a.k.a. "I'm teaching them graphing!") with laminated tickets. Each day they stay on "green," they get a ticket. Returning homework also earns a ticket.

I couldn't go 100% only behavior 'cause I knew some kids would have issues, and I couldn't base it slowly on homework, because a few kids who don't do homework (E, for example) would be punished for their parents' actions.

So, those three will come inside with me and do boring school work. ;-)

SpooWriter said...

Depends on the aides. ;-) I would trust Aide T implicitly, and Aide J implicitly if E was not at school or otherwise occupied. I think I could probably trust Aide-Mrs.B implicitly but I don't know her super well yet. I would trust Aide S somewhat, depending on which kids she had.

I would trust Aide K not at all...Teacher M said that when I sent them for a brief sensory break (a walk around the building) after Second Step, she saw Aide K skipping with several of the girls.....